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TO   THE   LIGHTHOUSE

so she felt that she was climbing backwards,
upwards, shoving her way up under p|etals that
curved over her, so that she only kneTV this is
white, or this is red. She did not know}*' at first
what the words meant at all.                     \*

Steer, hither steer your winged pines, all beaten Mariners

M

she read and turned the page, swinging * ^herself,
zigzagging this way and that, from one ^june to
another as from one branch to another, frori^ one
red and white flower to another,  until a ^iittle
sound roused  her—her  husband   slapping'^ his
thighs.   Their eyes met for a second;   but tfhey
did not want to speak to each other.    They h!?f~
nothing to say, but something seemed, neverthe-
less, to go from him to her.   It was the life, it was
the power of it, it was the tremendous humour,
she knew, that made him slap his thighs.   Don't
interrupt me, he seemed to be saying, don't say
anything; just sit there.   And he went on reading.
His lips twitched.   It filled him.   It fortified him.
He clean forgot all the little rubs and digs of the
evening, and how it bored him unutterably to sit
still while people ate and drank interminably, and
his being so irritable with his wife and so touchy
and minding when they passed his books over as
if they didn't exist at all.    But now, he felt, it
didn't matter a damn who reached Z (if thought
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